Sunday, 5 January 2014

Kitchener - We don't need you! - Letter to Yorkshire and Humber Region Newspapers

Dear Sir,

Lord Kitchener, the great World War I recruiter, is to be the new face of the £2 coin.

Like so many of the statues of military men to be found around Westminster, Kitchener is a reminder of the days of industrial warfare and of the military and political leaders who made huge blunders costing millions of lives.

This was a case of 'lions led by donkeys' as has been described by several historians of World War One.

Shouldn’t 2014 be about remembering the monumental folly of war?

A  different, progressive choice for the £2 coin could have been a war poet, Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, or Siegfried Sassoon. Or better still Vera Brittain, showing the female side of service and loss and working for a better world.

Instead they chose Kitchener – a man whose driving force was putting a million men more in the field than the enemy – knowing they were machine gun fodder and regardless of how many came back.

We really ought to be commemorating the end of World War I and not the beginning.

Yours sincerely,
Andrew Cooper
Yorkshire & Humber Green Party

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